We have consistently seen the cost-of-living skyrocket in Nigeria, and this increase cuts across feeding, transportation, and even rent. As people look at ways to either reduce their expenses or increase their income, feeding is one area that has to be reviewed. What’s the best way to cut down on feeding costs while not compromising on one’s health? That’s what this post hopes to provide to you: frugal food hacks that can help you save some extra coins/pounds in this economy…
Before we dive fully into food hacks you should know, one hack or home appliance I believe everyone should try to get is a freezer: either a refrigerator with a freezer or a deep-chest freezer. If you live in Nigeria, trust me, this is no longer a luxury, not with the way our economy is going. I can easily categorize it as a long-term investment.
1. Prioritize getting a freezer, this way, you’ll not only be able to bulk-purchase, but you’ll also be able to bulk-cook, and this will save you some extra coins that you’d have spent on buying cooked food. Thankfully, power has been better in this ‘Balablu’ regime.
Okay, let’s dig in fr.
2. Plan your meals: Plan your meals in advance to avoid food waste and avoid unnecessary grocery shopping trips. This also helps you use ingredients more efficiently. Personally, this was a struggle, but I realized after creating my first timetable, that I don’t have to get it perfectly, the idea is to plan several things we can eat over the next 1 or 2 weeks, this way, it also influences the soup to cook and the food items to buy for the next month.
3. Bulk Buy: The advantages of bulk purchasing are many, especially in a clime like ours where the prices of goods increase almost daily.
- It allows you to take advantage of wholesale or discounted prices, reducing the overall cost per unit, and allowing you to stock up and have a longer-lasting food supply.
- It gives you access to a wider range of products that may not be readily available in smaller packages.
- It can save you time and effort in the long run, meaning you won’t need to make frequent trips to the grocery store for essential items.
- Also, you can leverage the services of a shopper to help you purchase your food in bulk.
It is important to note that where you don’t have time to cook in bulk, you can also bulk-buy already-cooked food/soup that can last you (and your family) for a week or two.
Also, curating a shopping list will ensure you buy only items that you’d need within a particular period.
I’m excited to inform you that my go-to brand for bulk shopping sponsored this post, Naija Foods N Spices. Cooking is stressful enough already, I’m thankful that I don’t need to add shopping to the list.
Towards the end of each month, I take stock of the food items I need (including proteins like chicken, turkey, and fresh goat meat) and send the list to Naijafoodsnspices, and then I wait for my delivery before the end of the month. Shekinah. Life’s good. Glory to God.Naija Foods n Spices saves me the stress of going to the market by bulk shopping for me. Click To Tweet
You should definitely check them out so that you can place your order for this month’s shopping already.
4. Meal Prep in Advance: Apart from washing plates, meal prepping is another of my least favorite kitchen chore (say holla if we are in the same WhatsApp group). What I try to do is meal prep as much as I can. For instance, as soon as my groceries for the month come in,
- I cut and clean them at once, then I store them in Ziploc bags in the freezer,
- Using my food processor, I cut up my carrots, green peppers, and other related items for freezing,
- If I bought yam, I could cut, clean, and freeze it to make fried yam,
- I also make some reusable sauces like a pepper mix I saw on IG that I can use instead of dried pepper.
Doing these typically help to cut down on my cooking time, thus encouraging me to cook more.
5. Bulk Cook: Cooking larger quantities of meals and freezing individual portions for future consumption saves cost and time. This not only saves time by having ready-made meals on hand but also prevents the need for frequent cooking and reduces ingredient waste.
6. Store Food Appropriately: The risk associated with bulk purchasing is the possibility of certain food items going bad. Learning how to store food properly, will help to extend its shelf life. So, it is good to have a freezer so that you can freeze excess ingredients, such as meat, soups, vegetables, or herbs in portioned bags or containers for future use.
7. Learn Products Shelf-Life: Always check the shelf-life of food items or any product you purchase, especially when buying in bulk, cos not all products have the same shelf life. This will save you from throwing away food and money!
8. Use Leftovers: Repurpose leftovers into new meals to minimize waste. For example, use leftover sauce to make Village Jollof rice, or transform cooked vegetables into a hearty soup or stir-fry.
Related Read: 5 QUICK FOODS STUDENTS FIND SOLACE IN DURING EXAMS
9. Replicate Restaurant Favorites: Experiment with recreating your favorite restaurant dishes at home. You’ll save money on dining out while also developing your cooking skills and discovering new flavor combinations. This is one of my favorite things to do, not necessarily restaurant favorites, but other dishes I may watch from a cooking show or a chef’s page on Instagram.
What other food hacks do you know? Share with me in the comment section, I’ll be reading them.
As I mentioned already, this post is sponsored by Naijafoodsnspices, your One-Stop Shop for Fresh and Quality Naija Food Items!
Naija Foods N Spices is a Nigerian food and spice company that specializes in the production and distribution of locally sourced and processed food products. The company is founded in Nigeria to promote the use of Nigerian spices and food ingredients in Nigerian and international cuisines. They deliver everywhere in Nigeria and across the world.